Re: Saanich reawakens redesign planning for Gyro park (News, March 6)
Saanich did a survey of Gyro park users in 2009 to see what improvements should be made.
The subsequent park plans bore little relation to the survey.As is, Gyro is a unique, popular, heavily used park.
The survey revealed 72 per cent were there to walk their dogs; 11 per cent mentioned flooding as a problem; nine per cent were there to kayak; five per cent mentioned a few shade trees; one per cent requested a wetland. The current plan removes the tennis courts.
The plan makes access to the waterfront more difficult for the disabled, seniors, kayakers and first responders.
It plans for 80 new 50 foot high trees, increasing maintenance costs and reducing security in the park.
The wetland is proposed to occupy 25 to 50 per cent of the park. Typically wetlands (Swan Lake for example) bring problems: mosquitoes, toxic blue-green algae, drowning concerns, in season continuous frog croaking and flooding.
Nature sanctuaries like these are single-use areas and no-go zones for dogs. Do we seriously want the park reduced by half?
Flooding is not addressed, the park is lower than some of the piping and tides. The solution is to pump as necessary. The Killarney sump pump solved the flooding problem there.
There are problems with the new plan, it just does not respond to what park users are asking for.
As well, many new features appear to be the most expensive ways of doing things. For instance, new parking lots on known swampland will be costly.
The current plan needs critical review, not a rubber stamp.